February 25, 2018

This Year's Vegetable Growing List

I've decided to try and grow corn this year, it's been a long time so we'll see how that pans out.

I tend to go back and forth when it comes to varieties, my choices may change up until the time the seeds get sown. This is especially true when it comes to tomato and pepper varieties, so this list is in no way finalized.

*new varieties

Jalapeno Gigantia*, Padron*, Ajvarski*, Red Marconi*, Figitelli Sicilia*, Melrose*, Feher Ozon*, Boldog Hungarian*, Odessa Market*, Corno di Toro, Pablano, Jimmy Nardello, Shishito, Sweet Antigua, Corno Rosso, and Carmagnola Rosso

Be My Baby gene pool cherry*, Sweet Aperitif (F1) cherry*, Indigo Blueberries cherry*, Black Vernissage cherry*, Reisentraube cherry*, Large Red cherry, Sun Gold cherry, Brandywine, Black Brandywine, Yellow Brandywine, Dark Brandywine, Prudens Purple, Black Krim, Black from Tula, Kellogg's Breakfast, Cosmonaut Volkov, Celebrity (F1), Peron, Coustralee, Pink Berkley Tie Dye, Goldie, Jubilee, Granny Cantrell German Red, Ananas Noire, Big Zebra, Big Rainbow, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Orange Icicle*, Mariannas Peace*, Peach Blow Sutton*, Cherokee Green*, Anna Russian*, Juane de Flamme*, and Green Zebra*

Buhl (early)*, Stowell's Evergreen (middle)*, and Maiz Marado/Kulli corn (late)*

American Flag, and Asian leek/garlic chives.

Cipolle di Tropea*, Cipollini Borettana*, Australian Brown, and Bronze d'Amposta

Matador* (F1), and Zebrune

February 24, 2018

The Allure of the No Dig Method of Gardening

I've been looking into the no dig method of gardening, which I find enticing since it would allow early planting even with our very wet springs. The theory involves laying down deep layers of compost and then planting directly into the compost, and as the grass or weeds underneath deteriorate the growing vegetables on top will grow into the underlying soil. Some people lay cardboard or newspaper down first before adding the compost, but it looks like both methods work well if there's enough compost depth.

Normally we till our garden mechanically, adding amendments like composted rabbit manure and rock dust. But our very wet springs sometimes don't allow us to till until mid-May and since our last frost date is April 10th, that is very late indeed.

The only problem is our fence, we'd have to wheelbarrow in the compost from the alley or driveway, and it would take three truckloads of compost just to do a couple inches over the whole garden. Compost is easily and cheaply available from our municipal tree waste recycler, but shoveling and moving that amount of compost sounds insane. We've done it before for our garden at our old place, but we were able to drive right up to the garden and unload directly into it.

So my dreams of early planted peas, fava beans, turnips, beets, and corn might just not happen.